OPINION: A four day work week should be the new standard

A shortened work week can help prevent burn out and increase productivity. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/PEXELS

A four day work week helps both workers and businesses thrive, something even recently proven by a local Tampa business.

This schedule benefits not only employees, but their employers as it’s proven to increase productivity. More business owners across the country should adopt this schedule. 

Jake Kurtz, a Tampa business owner, decided that in 2023 his marketing firm, Brick Media, will be implementing a four day work week, as reported in a Jan. 14 article by Bay News 9. Kurtz said that he made this change because he wanted to try a new, innovative approach that he hoped would help his company improve. 

“It’s not typical in the nine-to-five corporate world and I just like the idea that maybe we can make it work and still thrive and grow as a company,” he said.

Four day work weeks have already seen success in other countries. The UK began a program in June called 4 Day Week Global, which involved over 70 British companies moving to this schedule, as reported on their website

Out of all the participating companies, 88% said they would be likely to keep this schedule and 49% said that they saw improvements in productivity. 

A four day work week can be implemented in two ways: employers can either give workers a set day off at the beginning or end of the week, or employees can choose which four days they’d like to work. 

This schedule benefits employees by allowing them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. That one extra day can count for a lot when it comes to spending meaningful time with friends and family or even just taking a day to relax.

“I love being able to work during the four days, prioritizing all the content to get it done and then just enjoying Fridays off and being able to spend time doing hobbies, hang out with friends and family. It’s really nice,” said Amanda Maxim, an employee at Brick Media, told Bay News 9.

It can be especially helpful for college students when 40% of part time students and 10% of full time students work more than 35 hours per week, according to a 2020 report by the National Center for Education Statistics. It can be difficult to balance schoolwork, a job and a social life, and having an extra day off can be very helpful.

When people aren’t pouring all of their time and energy into their jobs, they’re much less likely to get burnt out. When the employees are happy to come to work, the company will likely see improvements as well. 

As of 2019, 23% of businesses in the U.S. had implemented a four day workweek, meaning that their operations closed for at least 72 hours every week, according to an article by the Society for Human Resources Management. Because of this change, 60% of businesses reported increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

One concern regarding this change is how it would affect customer satisfaction. Just over 50% of employees say that they think a four day work week would frustrate customers, according to a 2022 study by Qualtrics. 

However, this is not always the case. Kurtz said that they have mostly been supportive and even curious to implement it for their own businesses. 

“I’ve even had some business clients and connections reach out basically asking me to let them know how it goes because they might want to try something themselves,” he said.

When employees are overworked, customer service will begin to falter. Giving them this extra day to rest and recover, customer service can actually improve.

This schedule can help both companies and employees thrive and it’s time for more business owners to give it a chance.